Help, Fishless Cycle, Tank Not Cycling!

EJSwan

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I have a 40 gal tank that won’t even start cycling!
Sand bed, fake plants, eheim 250 classic canister filter.
Water Sitting at 80 degrees and PH at 7.6 currently.
It has been set up since the 16th of June, I let it run for a week before I began my fishless cycle, to make sure the filter and everything was working correctly.
I declorinated the water using API stress coat.
Then on the 23rd of June I dosed to 4ppm of dr Tim’s ammonia.
Then began testing ammonia and for nitrites everyday, with the API master kit.
And also adding some fish food occasionally to make sure there was something for the bacteria to eat.
Added some seeded media to the tank, in the form of a filter wool block (from a small tank, couldn’t fit into filter so is floating in the tank) and some gravel and decor from the other tank.
And ammonia has never moved from 4ppm and I have 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates.
Did a large water change a week ago to drop the ammonia to 2ppm.
Still nothing. 2ppm ammonia 0 nitrites 0 nitrates
What has gone wrong?
 

Woodsman27

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I'm going to be watching this thread because I'm having the same problem, sorry I can't help.
 
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EJSwan

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Donthemon said:
I would do another large75 % or more water change and add tetra Safestart and some fish and get on with it. I have always had good results cycling that way.....also did you shake and pound the nitrate test bottle real good?
I’ve been thinking that may be the only way to go at this point. Yes I did, doesn’t seem to be an issue with the test as they are accurate when used on my other tanks. Thanks for the advice!
 

jdhef

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I'm not sure what your ammonia will not budge, but I did want to mention that I don't think having the seeded media just sitting in the tank will help. It would have much more helpful if you could have gotten it in your filter.
 
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EJSwan

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I know, I did try but couldn’t get it to work as the filter wool is in a sort of plastic case with holes, Thank you though.
 

Jpfacer

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Idk about fishless cycle but I always just use a bacteria supplement and extremely understock the tank. It always works well for me
 
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EJSwan

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Jpfacer said:
Idk about fishless cycle but I always just use a bacteria supplement and extremely understock the tank. It always works well for me
Yeah I really wanted to avoid a fish in cycle, but I can’t seem to find any answers on why this isn’t working so looks like it is my only option now. Thanks
 

Salem

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that is definitely really odd, my first thought is that maybe the ammonia spike wasn't high enough? You also could perhaps not be adding enough fish food for the bacteria to survive on. I know that sometimes the bigger the tank the longer it takes to jumpstart a cycle and I've heard of some taking upwards of 45 days but it must be incresiblt frustrating.

If you are ok with having snails you could use them to start a cycle. I started a cycle in my 15 gallon tank by putting in a couple bladder snails. I fed them with both lettuce and fish flakes every other day. Theyre absursly hardy little guys and didnt show any reaction to fluctuating levels- I guess they call them pests for a reason ****.
 
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EJSwan

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Salem said:
that is definitely really odd, my first thought is that maybe the ammonia spike wasn't high enough? You also could perhaps not be adding enough fish food for the bacteria to survive on. I know that sometimes the bigger the tank the longer it takes to jumpstart a cycle and I've heard of some taking upwards of 45 days but it must be incresiblt frustrating.

If you are ok with having snails you could use them to start a cycle. I started a cycle in my 15 gallon tank by putting in a couple bladder snails. I fed them with both lettuce and fish flakes every other day. Theyre absursly hardy little guys and didnt show any reaction to fluctuating levels- I guess they call them pests for a reason .
Very frustrating! A tank without fish just isn’t very exciting.
I hadn’t even considered snails as an alternative to fish, but I guess that’s probably a hardier option than fish, thank you!
 

LordGrim

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For fishless cycle, you might want to try having some live plants in the tanks to keep the ammonia down.
Some fast growing plants or floater to help get ammonia down faster.
 

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